The Beta Epsilon Chapter of the national Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society will host a Poverty Banquet on Friday, Dec. 4, at the St. Catherine University campus.

The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Rauenhorst Ballroom, third floor, Coeur de Catherine.

This event will allow participants to understand, learn and experience what it means to live in poverty in Minnesota. This will be done through experiential programming, a short film, a speaker from Catholic Charities, artwork and music.

The “banquet” part of Poverty Banquet will involve dividing attendees into high, middle and low classes based on the actual statistics of these classes in Minnesota. People will be served food based on a representation of their “class.”

The activity is more than just serving food; however, some people originally may be placed in upper class and then, as a result of the activity learn that they lost their jobs and have to move to middle class.

Participants will sit and be served according to class. These class divisions result in complicated activities with a lot of subtle details. At the end of the banquet, everyone will be served the same dessert as a thank-you for attending and participating.

The Poverty Banquet is free and open to the public. Participants are asked to bring a canned food item or a (suggested) $5 donation for a local food shelf.

To register, e-mail Beta Epsilon co-chair, Emily Ross, or stop by the Social Work offices located in either the Summit Classroom Building at the University of St. Thomas or in Fontbonne Hall at St. Catherine University.

The UST-SCU School of Social Work is sponsoring this event. The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed and living in poverty.